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(Deadspin)   Chris Kluwe tells the story of how he was an NFL player until he was fired by "two cowards and a bigot"   (deadspin.com) divider line 49
    More: Interesting, Chris Kluwe, NFL, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Rick Spielman, fair catch, Zygi Wilf, Ryan Longwell, cartilage tear  
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2183 clicks; posted to Sports » on 02 Jan 2014 at 4:05 PM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-01-02 04:32:08 PM  
5 votes:

Nabb1: I'm no football expert, though I do argue about it on the internet a lot, but there is little doubt in my mind that the Vikings go rid of Kluwe because of his outspokenness. He was definitely one of the better punters in the League, the best Minnesota had ever had, and I was rather surprised when the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round.


Punters making over a million dollars a year are dead men walking.  He wasn't released for his outspokenness anymore than Tebow was released as part of some War on Christians.
2014-01-02 03:27:04 PM  
4 votes:
Speech is not always free, and doing the right thing is sometimes costly.

/a clear conscious is priceless
2014-01-02 04:06:01 PM  
3 votes:
Playing devil's advocate here,

Jeff Locke is currently making $405k (rookie minimum), as opposed to Kluwe's 2012 $1.3 million salary.

Comparing Kluwe's 2012 stats vs Locke's 2013 stats, they were practically the same player.

Considering Kluwe's previous injury issues, isn't it possible they were just trying to minimize salaries, and find a player who was less of an injury risk, especially if there wasn't a noticeable performance drop?

Just because he's the best punter in Vikings history, doesn't mean he's a good punter. I think this article from May does a good job of illustrating that:
http://thebiglead.com/2013/05/06/chris-kluwe-was-released-beca use-of -p unting-not-because-of-preaching/

It all just seems like speculation to me.  Yeah there are issues if the coach actually made those comments, and that should be addressed, but that doesn't mean that's the reason he was fired, especially if he had support from the owner.
2014-01-02 03:35:25 PM  
3 votes:
I figured something like this had happened. I'm glad he had the courage and integrity to stand up for his beliefs, but I miss watching him play.
2014-01-03 08:51:40 AM  
2 votes:
This is a perfectly valid comparison, right down to someone getting cannned due to their beliefs on gay marriage.


If the duck guy and his whole show been canceled due to low ratings, and then he claimed later it was because of his political beliefs, then perhaps you would have an accurate comparison. Unfortunately...
2014-01-02 04:40:08 PM  
2 votes:
The NFL is about results. If he was still useful he'd be employed, regardless of his feelings about homosexuality. I'd also hazard a guess based on his history, he has a real attitude problem with authority and didn't react well to being told to tone it down. I mean shiat look how he reacted to not getting into a guild in WoW. You think an NFL team is going to put up with that from an average punter?

I'm supposed to think an NFL team will sign wife beaters, murderers, manslaughterers, druggies, and rapists but they won't sign this guy because he can't shut up about gay marriage? Seems unlikely.

/smart guy, articulate, agree with him
//but he isn't out of the league because of his viewpoints
2014-01-02 04:21:31 PM  
2 votes:
Someone outspoken who creates a divisive attitude from the coaching staff got axed from a football team!?  You don't say!?

/dude, you are a punter
//unless you can kick 100 yard punts, you were going to get canned if you weren't quiet - didn't matter what subject you talked about
2014-01-02 04:20:42 PM  
2 votes:
eh in the nfl its a results driven league, you can be mouthy all you want so long as you are good at what you do.

however if you are a borderline guy and make some controversial comments, well good luck somewhere else because you're cut.

there has to be a reason he didn't sign on with anyone else if he could still play

/drtfa
2014-01-02 04:13:20 PM  
2 votes:
It's cool and all to throw the special teams coach under the bus, but shouldn't we wait for some validation from other players that he actually did say the homophobic stuff before branding him with the rainbow iron?


/Nah, this is the Internet!
//Those waitress no-tip receipts were real too!!!!
2014-01-02 02:14:01 PM  
2 votes:
You hear a lot that the NFL doesn't want people who rock the boat. It isn't about speaking up for marriage equality, it's about speaking up. If you're part of a team, you're not supposed to draw extra attention to yourself and cause a distraction for everyone else.

The truth is probably that teams don't want people like Kluwe to speak up because they have coaches like Mike Priefer who they put more value in.
2014-01-02 01:56:38 PM  
2 votes:

Nabb1: I'm no football expert, though I do argue about it on the internet a lot, but there is little doubt in my mind that the Vikings go rid of Kluwe because of his outspokenness. He was definitely one of the better punters in the League, the best Minnesota had ever had, and I was rather surprised when the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round.


No one likes a guy who rocks the boat and upstages the team.

Except when it's a guy like Tim Tebow the whole Christ thing is considered a "positive"
2014-01-03 09:34:40 AM  
1 votes:

machoprogrammer: Gosling: MoeSzyslak: KEEP ME AROUND AND PAY ME THREE TIMES WHAT A BETTER REPLACEMENT MAKES OR YOU ARE A BUNCH OF GAY HATING BIGOTS!!!!

The Vikings also spent a 5th-round draft pick. I'd say that's a rather high price to be paying for a punter.

Not really. That is just bad drafting if anything; most punters go undrafted then get signed as rookie free agents.

If anything, it shows how much Minnesota wanted a better punter. Stats show that Kluwe was not a very good punter, which is likely the main reason he got cut.


And Kluwe has said before that it wasn't surprising that he got cut, it was going to happen sooner rather than later.  What the sleestaks are ignoring is how the Vikings coaching staff handled the personnel move.  The special teams coach had less than no business injecting his opinions into this matter, clearly took a severe dislike to Kluwe because Kluwe wasn't taking kindly to his bigoted objections.

I don't have reason to doubt that his side of the story is mostly accurate; he's always been honest about the sport (at times brutally so) but he clearly is also aware that his statements can have ramifications.  I don't blame him for waiting until now to tell the story, he's absolutely right about causing a distraction.

So if Kluwe's version of the story is accurate, it means the people on the coaching staff and in the front office, who are all life-long products of a sport that naturally perpetuates a hyper-machismo, alpha-male attitude, did not like what Kluwe was saying and acted in an irresponsible and completely unprofessional manner while evaluating whether or not to bring him back the following season.

Kluwe may be spinning his play ability a bit, but I also don't blame him for that when a lot of people's knee-jerk reaction is "Dude wasn't even that good of a player, therefore I don't care what he says."  (I've heard a statement like that before, in a completely different setting.  About a decade ago Colorado coach Gary Barnett responded to an accusation that female kicker Katie Hnida was sexually assaulted by a teammate - he said she wasn't that great of a kicker.  They're both classless and deflecting responses.)

We all need to take his declining performance, and the Vikings' desire to find a replacement as good but cheaper, and put it to the side.  Spending a 5th round pick on a punter is strange (it's easy to find an UDFA punter), but not crucial to the point.  Employees of the Vikings demonstrated a complete lack of professionalism in dealing with Kluwe, and the public and future employers need to be aware of it.
2014-01-03 08:26:51 AM  
1 votes:
Hmmm, I'm an otherwise obscure punter who's been cut by his last team, and can't catch on with a new one. No one cares about kickers, so how do I garner attention to myself? Let's see...
2014-01-03 01:48:10 AM  
1 votes:
For everyone but Kluwe himself apparently. Replace him with an equally good but 1/3 the price player and you're all cowards and bigots. Chris Kluwe would by wise to get the fark over himself.

img.fark.net
2014-01-03 01:43:18 AM  
1 votes:

MoeSzyslak: Is there a show that will cost A&E 1/3 as much and get equal or higher ratings than Duck Dynasty with the added benefit of appeasing the OUTRAGED BECAUSE SOME GUY ON SOME SHOW SAID SOMETHING IN A MAGAZINE crowd waiting in the wings for A&E to pickup instead? Of course not.


Probably. If there's one thing we've learned from reality TV it's that people LOVE stupid things that don't cost much money or require any brains to create/consume.
2014-01-03 01:21:33 AM  
1 votes:
KEEP ME AROUND AND PAY ME THREE TIMES WHAT A BETTER REPLACEMENT MAKES OR YOU ARE A BUNCH OF GAY HATING BIGOTS!!!!

If he was half as courageous as he purports to be he would have spoke up when he supposedly heard those anti-gay remarks. Not wait around for it to be painfully obvious that his career was over because he's no longer capable of justifying his paycheck with his skill.

I'm sure this will get a bunch of the perpetually outraged to run out and buy his book though so good on him for that.
2014-01-03 01:08:24 AM  
1 votes:
This is just a preview of how a gay player is expected to be treated in the NFL.

Give him what he wants, always. Always start him, NEVER cut him or trade him. Because that is phobic or something.

Nobody hit him too hard, and don't shiat talk him on the field or anywhere else. That's a lawsuit.
2014-01-03 01:05:25 AM  
1 votes:
Kluwe is a typical politically correct type convinced he is a better person than everyone else. So, he is entitled to whatever he wants. Always.

Anyone that says different is this, that and the other thing. Tell us now how you don't own a TV or drink bottled water. Gosh, we are impressed.
2014-01-03 12:43:16 AM  
1 votes:

steamingpile: Gosling: bluenote13: And why did they keep all those guys instead of Kluwe? $$$. As an 8 year yet he gets 1.2 million versus 500k for the other guys. When there is a cap, every cent counts and unless you have Andy Lee or Shane Lechtler you don't pay punters that kind of money.

They certainly didn't keep those guys over Kluwe because of talent. Kluwe may not be the best punter around, but I'd absolutely want him over Podlesh, Moorman or Powell. A good punter may not need to cost you money, but a bad one's going to cost you games.

The problem as I think you stated but others missed is that any team that signed him would have had to take a $1.2M hit and keep him on the roster all year which would have meant he had to have a hell of a tryout.

Now he had a good shot at coming back next year, at a reduced rate, except now that hes shot his mouth off most teams wouldnt touch him thinking hes going to be a problem in the locker room. Basically hes a moron.


or he's not a moron and doesn't really care if he plays again and would rather point out how much of a bigoted asshat that the vikings' special teams coach is.

/he says he realizes his career is most likely done.
2014-01-02 09:22:02 PM  
1 votes:
zurevla.nl

...and a shiatty punter.
2014-01-02 09:20:23 PM  
1 votes:
Kinda seems, given his history, that he was fired for being a vulgar and insufferable know-it-all who was also a punter, meaning he could be replaced at a moment's notice.

Why, from a business/winning standpoint, would the Vikings organization keep him around when he was a distraction to the team and a potential public relations problem (moreso for the childish language than the gay-marriage stance)?

If I understand correctly, he was also on the verge of earning the veteran's minimum salary.  So why pay more for a guy who isn't really worth the potential trouble caused?  The Vikings have no reason to justify themselves in the scope of larger social justice.

The fact that he wrote a whiny and self-indulgent article reaming his bosses really just solidifies the Vikings' decision.
2014-01-02 08:58:59 PM  
1 votes:

Actual Farking: scottydoesntknow: Man could you imagine the outrage if a coach told Tebow to cool it with the Jesus stuff?

I can just see him literally hanging himself from a mock crucifix in front of the stadium.


He'll have to ask Kluwe to get off it first.
2014-01-02 08:03:30 PM  
1 votes:
Statement from Priefer, from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

I vehemently deny today's allegations made by Chris Kluwe.
I want to be clear that I do not tolerate discrimination of any type and am respectful of all individuals. I personally have gay family members who I love and support just as I do any family member.
The primary reason I entered coaching was to affect people in a positive way. As a coach, I have always created an accepting environment for my players, including Chris, and have looked to support them both on and off the field.
The comments today have not only attacked my character and insulted my professionalism, but they have also impacted my family. While my career focus is to be a great professional football coach, my number one priority has always been to be a protective husband and father to my wife and children.
I will continue to work hard for the Minnesota Vikings, the Wilf family and all of our loyal fans.
2014-01-02 07:43:17 PM  
1 votes:
Wait til the Duck Dynasty fans get this news! There's nothing that gets them upset like someone being denied first amendment rights, at least first amendment rights as they believe them to be. Shouldn't be long before Facebook lights up in support of Kluwe.
2014-01-02 06:24:17 PM  
1 votes:
Obviously every other team that isn't (or didn't) knocking on his door is wrong about his talents too...
2014-01-02 05:55:51 PM  
1 votes:

boyofd: On the other hand, his replacement had almost identical stats, so it seems like a stretch to believe that he was replaced solely for talent/production reasons.


His replacement had identical stats and cost one-third as much.

Would you rather play $9 for a sandwich or $3 for a sandwich if you knew they would taste the same?
2014-01-02 05:54:42 PM  
1 votes:

Bad Man Jose: egomann: BTW, I hope none of those coaches ever get a job in the NFL again and if anyone google's thier name it comes to this article first.

Leslie Frazier is going to be the DC for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers


I'll enjoy watching him and Lovie get destroyed twice a year by the Panthers.  Tedford, however, I have no reason to dislike.
2014-01-02 05:32:16 PM  
1 votes:

Transpogue: Bad Man Jose: Bunny Deville: I figured something like this had happened. I'm glad he had the courage and integrity to stand up for his beliefs, but I miss watching him play.

My problem with this statement is that he waited a year, figured he was not going to be signed and then made a spectacle of the situation.

Sounds like all of the bridges were dismantled before he decided to burn them.

It seems that a big reason why he held off was because there were players on the Vikings he cared about, and he didn't want to jeopardize their ability to be cohesive by stirring up shiat about the coaching staff.

Given the circumstances, I don't think there is any "right" way to handle this.  I have no doubt that if Kluwe was playing lights out, it would have been harder to justify the firing, but I still think- with the way that team runs things- they would have still let him go.


I guess I see this more as sour grapes now when I would have seen it as courage a year ago.
2014-01-02 05:24:02 PM  
1 votes:

twistedmetal: Speech is not always free, and doing the right thing is sometimes costly.

/a clear conscious is priceless


So is proper spelling.

/"conscience"

s2.quickmeme.com
2014-01-02 05:21:37 PM  
1 votes:

FreeLawyer: Although at $1.2 million Kluwe was making more than the veterans minimum, his contract could have been restructured to bring it down to the veterans minimum  (between $715,000 and $940,000). Under the minimum salary benefit, the cap hit would be approximately the rookie minimum. 
http://overthecap.com/explaining-the-minimum-salary-benefit/


And then after he was cut after the 2014 season he would write an article about how the Vikings made him take a pay cut because of his views on gay marriage because the Vikings capologist was a coward, too.
2014-01-02 05:17:37 PM  
1 votes:

Bad Man Jose: Bunny Deville: I figured something like this had happened. I'm glad he had the courage and integrity to stand up for his beliefs, but I miss watching him play.

My problem with this statement is that he waited a year, figured he was not going to be signed and then made a spectacle of the situation.

Sounds like all of the bridges were dismantled before he decided to burn them.


It seems that a big reason why he held off was because there were players on the Vikings he cared about, and he didn't want to jeopardize their ability to be cohesive by stirring up shiat about the coaching staff.

Given the circumstances, I don't think there is any "right" way to handle this.  I have no doubt that if Kluwe was playing lights out, it would have been harder to justify the firing, but I still think- with the way that team runs things- they would have still let him go.
2014-01-02 05:13:55 PM  
1 votes:
I think if he stuck with the gay rights stance it wouldn't have been a big deal but then he started trashing the Pope (like it or not, Catholics do buy tickets), and then the Ray Guy patch during the game.

So they sit down and think here's a guy making 1.8M as an average punter when we can get the same production for 400K and who the hell knows what Kluwe is going to be pissed about tomorrow so......
2014-01-02 05:13:21 PM  
1 votes:

Bunny Deville: I figured something like this had happened. I'm glad he had the courage and integrity to stand up for his beliefs, but I miss watching him play.


My problem with this statement is that he waited a year, figured he was not going to be signed and then made a spectacle of the situation.

Sounds like all of the bridges were dismantled before he decided to burn them.
2014-01-02 04:57:51 PM  
1 votes:

Super Chronic: I choose to believe that both sides are partially right. Mike Priefer is a raging asshole and homophobe; Chris Kluwe is nothing special as a punter and not irreplaceable.


Pretty much this. Kluwe is not the best punter, but I'm inclined to believe him when he says that his opinions helped get him kicked out of the NFL with help from a trio of bigoted people. It would be different if he was a QB or some super important position, maybe.

If I was him, I would've tried to contact the Vikings owner privately before writing this publicly. But that's just me.
2014-01-02 04:55:52 PM  
1 votes:
2014-01-02 04:37:58 PM  
1 votes:

Nabb1: I'm no football expert, though I do argue about it on the internet a lot, but there is little doubt in my mind that the Vikings go rid of Kluwe because of his outspokenness. He was definitely one of the better punters in the League, the best Minnesota had ever had, and I was rather surprised when the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round.


Except Kluwe was not one of the better punters in the league; he was actually quite below average and when you have a below average punter making over a million a year, they usually get cut. Why pay a guy $1.2 million to do a job that a rookie making 1/3 of that will do?
2014-01-02 04:29:44 PM  
1 votes:
So if he was so good..why is he not playing anywhere again?

I am *NOT* disagreeing with him about his firing.

I am saying there is this whole attitude of "Whelp, I could never get hired again" about him.

"But Jim from Saint Paul, no one wants an old punter."

No, no one wants an OLD punter who asks for money 8 to 10 times as much as a young one does. There's a difference.
2014-01-02 04:29:35 PM  
1 votes:

IAmRight: DamnYankees: Saw this posted on another board - seems a little damning:

Here are the stats for Kluwe the year he was released.

*31st in NFL in punts inside the 20
*22nd in NFL in avg punt yardage
*32nd in NFL for long punt
*17th in NFL in net yardage

Well, "long punt" is a stupid stat to cite. But yeah, he was a mediocre punter. So the reason he probably can't get a job is for another reason - otherwise someone would go ahead and pick him up for minimum; after all, half the teams have guys who are below average.

But the added "hassle" from an organizational perspective probably isn't worth it, even if you agree with his politics.


He is below average. Why pay him a vet minimum when you can draft a guy and pay him the rookie minimum?

Kluwe is a great person and I really admire him, but he was a below average punter. Was he let go because of his outspokenness? Maybe. Was he let go because he wasn't worth what they were paying him? Maybe
2014-01-02 04:21:30 PM  
1 votes:
I think this has 25% to do with  what he was saying and 75% to do with him making headlines.

Being a punter and causing headlines is not good, especially when your headlines are irritating a segment of your customers.
2014-01-02 04:19:57 PM  
1 votes:

netweavr: Why is this only being published now if he wrote it last April?


The TL;DR is that he was hoping to continue his career in the NFL, and also right now the main bigot in the story is a contender for the head coaching job.
2014-01-02 04:16:32 PM  
1 votes:

scottydoesntknow: netweavr: Why is this only being published now if he wrote it last April?

FTA: Some will ask why I waited so long to tell this story. It's a fair question, and I have two answers. The first is that I still have friends on the Vikings, and opening up something like this during the season would not help them focus on their jobs. By doing it now, I hope they don't have to answer questions about an issue that concerns only four people, and I hope the issue will have died down before next season starts.

The second is that I wanted to prove I still had the physical ability to compete in the NFL. I can still hit the ball 45 yards outside the numbers with good hangtime, and at the tryouts I've had this year I've gotten praise from the scouts and personnel people on hand, but for whatever reason I cannot find a job. (Side note: My numbers from last year would put me right in the middle of the pack for this year, and I've traditionally been in the middle to top third of punters each year).

However, it's clear to me that no matter how much I want to prove I can play, I will no longer punt in the NFL, especially now that I've written this account. Whether it's my age, my minimum veteran salary, my habit of speaking my mind, or (most likely) a combination of all three, my time as a football player is done. Punters are always replaceable, at least in the minds of those in charge, and I realize that in advocating noisily for social change I only made it easier for them to justify not having me around. So it goes.

He wanted to see if another team would pick him up. Now that he's decided (or resigned to the fact) he won't ever play in the NFL again, might as well air his grievances, even if Festivus is over.


Fair enough, it hurts the credibility here, but doesn't eliminate it.

The Vikings and NFL should respond.
2014-01-02 04:11:36 PM  
1 votes:

sigdiamond2000: The response to this from the jocksniffer set should be interesting.

We'll surely get some "sanctity of the locker room" bullsh*t mixed with a dose "who cares? why is this a story" and a dash of some derivation of "shoving it down our throats."


(Non-Spartan) Warrior Code!
2014-01-02 04:04:19 PM  
1 votes:
Saw this posted on another board - seems a little damning:

Here are the stats for Kluwe the year he was released.

*31st in NFL in punts inside the 20
*22nd in NFL in avg punt yardage
*32nd in NFL for long punt
*17th in NFL in net yardage
2014-01-02 03:54:47 PM  
1 votes:

Shame Us: The allegations about Pfeifer's behavior are fairly damning. Not shocking or surprising at all really, but you can't do that shiat in the workplace. As we've seen this year, the NFL might do well to remember that its teams are still, at the base, employers and subject to the laws that govern any business when it comes to the workplace environment. Being derided by your immediate superior for differing political views is against the rules.


Honestly, shiat like this is why people do get upset when prominent gay people refuse to come out. Just hypothetically, imagine if AP was in that room, and that he was gay*. Does he not have a responsibility to speak out? To show Pfeifer that he's full of shiat, and show everyone else its unacceptable?

Coming out and showing people that their perceptions about minority X or Y are wrong is really important.


* Just hypothetical. I know literally nothing about AP's personal life other than his son died.
2014-01-02 03:50:14 PM  
1 votes:
The allegations about Pfeifer's behavior are fairly damning. Not shocking or surprising at all really, but you can't do that shiat in the workplace. As we've seen this year, the NFL might do well to remember that its teams are still, at the base, employers and subject to the laws that govern any business when it comes to the workplace environment. Being derided by your immediate superior for differing political views is against the rules.
2014-01-02 02:21:37 PM  
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: It sounds to me like Leslie Frazer is a raging homophobe.  Which is not what I'd expect from a man named Leslie.


I don't think there's any evidence in TFA that Frazer is a homophobe at all.
2014-01-02 01:54:33 PM  
1 votes:
I got his book for Christmas, and have been reading it. He's really a good writer and a funny guy.
2014-01-02 01:52:59 PM  
1 votes:
On Sept. 10, I was once again called into Leslie Frazier's office. Coach Frazier asked me if I was going to keep speaking out on the matter of same-sex marriage and equality. I responded that I was, and I related what Zygi Wilf had said to me at the game the day before. Coach Frazier looked stunned and put his hand across his face. He then told me: "Well, he writes the checks. It looks like I've been overruled."

It sounds to me like Leslie Frazer is a raging homophobe.  Which is not what I'd expect from a man named Leslie.
2014-01-02 01:49:31 PM  
1 votes:
The NFL thinks homosexuals are icky.  They will continue to think so until instructed otherwise by the men running the show.
 
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